NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans has lost a former NOPD officer who some are calling legendary.

Dwight Deal passed away late Tuesday night at the age of 61 from several forms of cancer.

Deal's colleagues called him the epitome of what a top homicide detective should be. They say for decades, he was relentless in solving cases and being the spokesman for the victims' families.

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Last October, Medical Reporter Meg Farris talked to him about his battle with breast cancer. He called himself the town crier for male breast cancer, never missing an opportunity to educate other men on self-examination.

"I was spared for some reason. There's a message here somewhere. I've talked to hundreds, and I literally mean hundreds of people, men in particular, who said that I wouldn't want to know. Breast cancer is a hell of a lot better proposition than death," Deal said in October 2016.

Deal's funeral mass will be Friday, Aug. 11, at St. Maria Goretti Church in New Orleans East at 10 a.m. He will be buried at Restlawn Memorial Pary Cemetery & Mausoleum in Avondale, La.

A repass is scheduled to follow at The Regency Hall and 7300 Downman Road, New Orleans, La. 70126.